Post in 'The Gear' started by raybonz, Oct 25, 2009.
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I just picked one of these up because I am taking down about 8 trees next week to expand my back yard to allow more sun in the wood pile area.
Just for giggles, I put the wheels on and fired it up. Took some med size splits to make some kindling. Nice is all I have to say. No more swinging the maul unless I have a stubborn round. After these 8 trees are down and split, it's more or less just re-splitting wood I have delivered.
Best of luck with your new splitter it will pay for itself quickly..
Hi folks. I have the Homelite version of the Ryobi. I bought the Ryobi first, but it had a hydraulic leak I did not notice till after 3 hours of splitting or so. I returned it to Home Depot, no hassles, but they did not have another one. The next HD down the highway had 2 of the Homelites which are almost identical though claimed at 5 tons not 4. However the HD guy at the second store says they are sold with the same SKU number, so go figure.
Having used a few splitters, (though I am no pro), I am impressed with these little things. They are almost perfect for the average homeowner.
My only real criticisms are that they do not go vertical, and the ram does not get close enough to the wedge to properly finish stringy splits like fresh-cut black birch. Vertical would be great for nibbling at the larger rounds some have mentioned.
Also, if you use them on uneven ground, the pump/controls end needs to be lower than the wedge end. If the wedge end is lower it seems to suck air and not work properly. But level is best. There are a few other things I think could be improved, but that is a different thread.
For the larger rounds, I found if you sledge and wedge them in half first, the Homelite will handle them from there. But I have only done this with rounds that started at about 20-22 inches diameter or so before halving. I suspect they could handle a bit larger.
Since I do not have a garage or shed to store gas in, I use electric everything, including a chainsaw. I find if I start splitting rounds by cutting across the face of the round with the chainsaw, to about 1 - 1.5 inches depth, it holds the wedge, and the wedge starts easier and is less prone to flying off if you mis-hit with the sledge, which seems be more common after an hour or so of swinging that sledge around. at least for this 50 year old desk jockey. And the round seems to split easier.
I make a little assembly line and do one operation each day. I set up a dozen or two rounds on end, score them with the chain saw one day, then split them with sledge and wedge the next day (or two), and then split the half-rounds with the Homelite the next day.
One little tool I have found useful, at least splitting the black birch I am splitting now, which splits kind of stringy, is a pair of garden shears. For the rounds that do not split clean and I can not pull apart y hand, I gut the strings an ribbons between the halves. Easier than wrestling with it or using the chainsaw to finish.
I think the majority of the electrics are manufactured by the same company and rebranded by whoever sells them.. Maybe the handles are a little different or some other minor difference.. The major components like the motor and hydraulics appear similar to me.. Yes the stroke comes up short and oak can be stringy as well especially if it is a gnarly piece and many times I place a short piece behind the one I'm splitting to push it through.. I used the same method as you for the presplitting however tendonitis stopped that activity for me.. Too bad cuz I enjoyed swinging the sledge as a sort of therapy..
PS The Ryobi looks identical to the Homelite to me too!
Very glad to find this post this morning. Going to go out at lunch today and pick one up. Certainly made me much more comfortable giving this a test run as my first wood splitter. Just need for home use - burn the fireplace for supplemental heat source. Will post an update after my first go round with it!
Lowes has now dropped the price to $249.99 and with a handy $25 off coupon for Lowes from Discover Card now is my time to buy!
Edit Update: WOW I think I am in love! :kiss: LOL Just kidding but I am more than pleased with this splitter. Quiet and quick! I finally will now be able to burn my bigger stuff. And I hear a load of unseasoned, unsplit apple wood calling my name for next winter! This thing can make splitting fun (well maybe for the warped of mind like me!)
Ray - thanks for all your advice - and I only beat you pricewise thanks to the bonus from Discover card!!
Now if it just will get cold enough for me to need to burn!!
Wow Shirl I am glad you posted that new lower price because I just called Lowes and they will refund the difference from what I paid ($279.00) so I will get $20.00 back!! Plus I got 10% off bringing my price to $231.00!! Gotta love that! Thanx for posting and like everyone says here use cooking spray on the wedge and pusher sliding surface as it helps it split and protects the finish too...
Ray - Glad you got to take advantage of the lower price! And thanks for mentioning the cooking spray - I saw that and don't want to forget about it!!
You're welcome and if you don't have a platform consider the Werner platform as it is just the right height to use the splitter.. I do have to warn you the splitter is heavy at least 100 lbs. so let them load into your vehicle.. Assembly is very simple too.. If you use an extension cord try to keep it 50' or less and use 12 awg (good for 20 amps).. I have only run it on a 20 amp ckt. and it has never tripped a breaker however it may on a 15 amp breaker someone else will have to chime in on that one...
I was going to pass on the table until I read a few reviews on Lowes website about achy backs! LOL so yes I will be picking that up too!! Thanks for the heads up on the extension cord!
The "Ray from Massachusetts" review was written by yours truly.. I find the reviews helpful and generally informative so it's a good idea to give the good, bad and the ugly for other people..
Yes I figured that was you Ray! I do rely on the reviews too so I will be posting my experience with it both here and there. My only concern is if I need to return this one for some reason only one is left on the shelf in this whole area! So crossing my fingers that it all works out. I picked both it and the table up at lunch today - so hopefully this weekend they both get a workout.
That's a good price with the price drop. I may have to look into this sooner than later. Thanks for the update guys.
wow, that's a good price. I'm starting to think about it now. darn. I use splitting wood as an excuse to go outside and exercise. Am i going to get fat now? Seriously, maybe the 5tons is weak enough that I'll have a bunch of stuff I HAVE to split by hand. ohhhh, the dilemma...
Quality Craft 4.5Ton splitter from Menards is listed as $238 in the flyer.
Just returned from Lowes and the final price paid before taxes was $224.10 lol... They had to treat it as a return so effectively it is a new machine for warranty purposes.. To think I started at $299.00 not long ago and I think it was a good value at that price!
Menards doesn't exist out this way but for the extra oomph an extra 1/2 ton provides I'd still go for this splitter.. If I didn't still suffer from splitting induced tendinitis I'd still probably be pounding away with a sledge and wedge.. This is MUCH easier and much more productive..
This has quite a bit of power and if it struggles then you certainly will struggle with a sledge and wedge!! I got plenty of exercise picking all the wood up then loading it into my little wagon, hauling it through the woods and stacking it.. Just saved me loads of time and more elbow damage so I am pleased so far..
Wow Ray - you really scored!! Good Deal!!
Thanx but I think you got me beat by 90 cents!! Gonna wreck my reputation as a frugal Frenchman Shirl!!
OK - I think I am in love! :kiss: LOL I am VERY pleased with the Task Force splitter. No problem putting it together. Even managed to get it up on the work table by myself. My only personal issue will be remembering to turn the bleed screw prior to using. I need to put a note by the on/off switch to help with that.
Used it both Saturday and Sunday - got half of my big stuff split. That wood pile will be slapped into shape by the end of next weekend. :cheese: That thing sure makes splitting fun (well maybe my mind is warped but sure seemed a more fun option than my other pending projects!). It is quiet and quick - just my style.
If you are thinking about it - go for it while you can still locate one - that is my advice to you!!
Glad to hear it worked out ok for you! What do you think of the working height using the work platform? I know what you mean about the bleed screw, very easy to forget! I need to add a danger tag or similar to cord or switch to remind me not to forget about it...
Ray - the working height for me was perfect - I am 5'6". I have already found that platform handy for a few other tasks too so definitely worth the money for me. This whole set-up is very simple for a mid 40's stubborn single lady to play with!! ;-) If I hadn't run out of sunlight Sunday I would have snapped a picture of my set-up - but I couldn't make myself stop splitting! LOL
And I just love the fact that it stores upright - I seem to have a large enough collection of outdoor stuff - so I really appreciate the small footprint.
I really think TaskForce should add a sticker regarding the bleed screw right by the on/off button.
Anyone that doubts these 5hp electric splitters can't split the big stuff, here's proof. I believe this is a white oak because I have some red oak that's a lot darker in color. It's takes a few cycles to get through the big stuff, but it sure beats whacking it with a maul.
I have the same task force splitter and I leave mine on the ground so I don't have to lift the wood any higher then about a foot (height of the splitter) I then use an old broom handle for the power button and a 1 X 2 to push the lever so I don't have to bend down as my back isn't in good shape either. I keep mine in the shed so when the cooler weather comes the hydraulic oil needs to warm up so I cycle the motor and pump for a few seconds at a time until it warms the oil. I sometimes trip a breaker but no big deal but I'm with everyone else who owns this I love it, it is perfect for the average home owner who burns wood. Someone also suggested on some of the big chunks of trunk if you cut them in half so they are only about 12" long the unit will split them. As far as the ram reach if it doesn't split a gnarly piece I will place another split that needs re-splitting behind it to finish pushing it through.
The second time I used it I noticed the bleed valve stem was bent on mine. A piece of scrap must have wedged in there during a cycle and bent the stem so now it is stuck in the open position. Now I'm looking at a better chain saw as the one I bought in 2008 Poulin pro 16" doesn't have the muscle to cut some of the wood in my yard. I have woods on one side and the back of my property with some huge maples that drop limbs the size of a small tree. So as these come down this can give me some nice wood to supplement the wood I buy from my local guy.
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